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Back-to-school health fairs in Santa Barbara Co. to offer immunizations, community resources

county of sb
Posted at 8:44 PM, Aug 03, 2023

Right now, you may be going through your back-to-school checklist, making sure your kids are up to date on immunizations, physicals for sports, and have all the supplies needed to return to the classroom.

Next Tuesday, the Santa Maria Health Care Center off Centerpointe Parkway may have just about everything you need.

“What we want to do is open the doors and say, “Hey, we are here, and you can come here to get some of your health needs met,” said Dr. Josephine Preciado, chief physician at the Santa Maria Health Care Center.

During the event, county health officials will offer screenings for sports clearances, as well as immunizations for COVID and Monkeypox.

Health educators and county medical professionals will also be available to answer questions from local parents and link them to insurance providers or possible benefits they may qualify for.

Dyanna Noriz, who will soon be starting sophomore year, says resources like these are essential in Santa Maria.

“There are a lot of parents here that are immigrants, so they don’t really speak English that good, so the support is very useful for them,” she told KSBY.

Her mother, Montse Noriz, says she initially relied on other parents to fill her in on various immunizations, screenings and requirements her kids needed to complete before starting school.

She believes the county’s upcoming school health fairs will be beneficial to other parents who were once in her place.

“It would be a really good thing for them to guide us and help us with our questions. Many of us Latino parents are not well informed about these things,” Montse Noriz admitted.

Tuesday’s Santa Maria Health Fair will go from 11 am to 3 pm, with additional County events taking place in Lompoc the following day and in Santa Barbara on Thursday.

“We will have food trucks, raffle prizes, we are giving out backpacks and helmets, so, lots of things for the whole family. It is also for all ages, so we are inviting all family members to come out and join us,” said Dr. Kristine Reyes, staff pediatrician at the Santa Maria Health Center.

Families and individuals who may not currently be enrolled in insurance are also welcome to stop by.

Click here, for more information on the locations of the health fairs.